Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Israel Imprisons Cynthia McKinney For Carrying Crayons To Gaza"

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The Editors

Former Georgia Congresswoman is imprisoned in Israel along with 20 others after being intercepted in international waters for the offense of carrying humantarian and reconstruction aid to the Palestinians of Gaza.


"Cynthia McKinney calls WBAIX from Israeli prison"

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The merciless Israeli blockade, aided and abetted by the Obama Administration continues to deny Palestinians the right to obtain the necessities of ordinary life such as medical suplies, writing paper, crayons, and cement to reconstruct their homes and businesses and carry on their ordinary lives.

Israeli Govt Imprisons Cynthia McKinney For Carrying Crayons To Gaza -- Updated Again

Former Congresswoman May Not be Released Until Sunday

by The Editors

The Israeli government continues to hold former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and 20 other human rights workers, after surrounding and seizing their relief vessel, Spirit of Humanity, on the high seas – an act of piracy. The ship was 23 miles off the Gaza coast when boarded by the Israelis. Activists of the Free Gaza Movement were attempting to deliver desperately needed supplies to the 1.5 million Palestinian residents of Gaza, who have been subjected to an Israeli land and sea blockade since 2007.

McKinney and her comrades were taken to Ramle Prison, in Israel, where they refer to themselves as the “Free Gaza 21.” Several hundred people demonstrated at the Israeli consulate in New York City, Wednesday, demanding release of the activists. City Councilman Charles Barron led the chant, “Hands Off Cynthia McKinney.”

In December, Ms. McKinney was aboard the Dignity, another vessel operated by the Free Gaza Movement, when it was rammed and badly damaged by Israeli naval ships while on a similar relief mission from Cyprus to Gaza. The Dignity managed to limp into a Lebanese port.

David Josue, a close colleague of Ms. McKinney, says he was told by Alisa Green, a staffer at the U.S. Embassay in Tel Aviv, that Ms. McKinney "refused to sign" a deportation order. According to Mr. Josue:

The embassy told me that Israeli law requires that inmates that refuse to sign a deportation must be kept in jail for 3 days before they are sent away. It will be Sunday before we know when and if she will leave Israel."

BAR will provide audio and video materials on this story, later today.

Cynthia McKinney
10:31 AM
-- Statement by former Rep. Cynthia McKinney

"We were in international waters on a boat delivering humanitarian aid to people in Gaza when the Israeli Navy ships surrounded us and illegally threatened us, dismantled our navigation equipment, boarded and confiscated the ship.

All of us on board were then taken off the ship and into custody, and brought into Israel and imprisoned. Immigration officials in Israel said they did not want to keep us, but we remain imprisoned. State Department and White House officials have not effected our release or taken a strong public stance to condemn the illegal actions of the Israeli Navy of enforcing a blockade of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians of Gaza, a blockade that has been condemned by President Obama."

The continuing blockade of Gaza, in which Israel and the U.S. collectively punish 1.5 million people is a crime under international law, and one of many stories not covered in the corporate news. Here are a few places where you can find out more about the situation in Israel-Palestine and the blockade.